My symptoms made simple

This particular blog is the closest I’ve got to explaining how my particular brain damage works. It’s not been an easy journey, but with the relevant help from Neurologists and new understanding over the 8 years I have been writing, I am getting there.

The frontal lobe section, known as the ‘emotional centre’ is the part of my brain that is extensively damaged. Generally, it is the place where our emotions are controlled and where our personalities are formed. This area also plays a role in controlling movement, judgments and behaviour, as well as social and sexual behaviour.

If this part of the brain becomes injured from birth or through an accident, it can affect many functions in the body, as I am just beginning to understand. The type and severity of our symptoms depend on which section of the front lobe is impaired. As my brain is extensively damaged in the frontal lobe area, I struggle with emotions. I have always known that I have, I just never understood why.

As a result of impaired emotions, I also deal with anxiety. That explains why I used to hold on to bad thoughts and have difficulty releasing those. As a child, it would takes weeks, months, even years to let go of them. I used to have to keep myself busy so that my attention was diverted, even if it was for a short while.

Because the cells that control movement to that area of my brain is damaged, I also deal with weakness in my arm, hand, fingers, leg and foot on my Cerebral Palsy side. And as a child, although my difficulties on my left side were down to a paralysis that I didn’t know I had, although I still have a certain amount of paralysis, with continued exercise my leg is slightly stronger. I have little muscle tone and weakened muscles on my Cerebral Palsy side and can’t point my toes.

I also struggle with fine motor skills such as writing and forming outlines on those. Frontal lobe damage has an impact on non-creative thinking, and problem-solving ability and I struggle with both of those. I struggle with spontaneity, memory, language initiation, judgments and impulse control. I have mostly learned to adapt and find ways through most of what I deal with, although I often get caught out on one or most of those.

I know that if this injury were to have happened to me as an adult, my personality and social behaviour would have changed drastically. As a child, I found social situations difficult and as a result didn’t mix in very well, particularly in school. I failed to interact and think that was part of why I became so insular. I have learned a different method for me to cope.

Through my intuition, I am able to read people and understand their body language enough to know how I need to behave and what to say. But more importantly I am able to piece and link together the missing pieces to the jigsaw on my symptoms and how those play out in daily life.


24 May, 2018

4 thoughts on “My symptoms made simple

  1. This is something that I have to really think about right now, seeing as I’m dealing with my daughter and certain behaviors as of late, I have had to try to be very patient.

    She may be 28 physically, but mentally they assessed her as having the mentality of a 10 year old, which she has actually been acting like recently.

    I have been wondering how she was so easily convinced that I’m all of a sudden a monster who wants to control her life, even after traveling 2500 miles to rescue her from the nightmare that she was trapped in.

    I am still very hurt and confused but I have to try to remember that she is pretty much a young child, seeing as she has been kept isolated from the world.

    Trying to help her out has pretty much destroyed my world, due to her behaviors and treatment of the people who tried to help her out, so I have to focus on dealing with my own life, seeing as she chose to turn her back on me in so many ways.

    1. I’m not sure how clear cut this is Randy. When children get caught up in their parents’ fights, it’s impossible for them to make a choice between their parents. As you say your daughter may be 28 years of age, but mentally with a mental age of 10, she’s not equipped to make decisions for herself.

      I don’t know the background, but if you and her mother split, your daughter may have felt compelled to go with her mum. But when it comes to any form of parenting, particularly with a special needs child, the child’s needs must come first.

      It sounds as though you did the best thing for her, bringing her out of the situation she found herself in. She’s clearly been affected by her experiences and sadly you’re on the receiving end. Although that must be enormously difficult try not to take it personally, but I don’t think she’s in a position to give you much more.

      Having Cerebral Palsy myself, I am all too aware mentally how things play out. We are much affected mentally as we are physically. If you have already been told your daughter has the mental age of 10, all you can do is work around her capabilities and work with her.

      Your former partner must also do the same. None of what happened to your daughter is up to your daughter, or is her fault.

  2. As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’ and armed with this understanding, your influence will be even greater.

    Notwithstanding that those who withheld this from you will be accountable to themselves, you know what; you’re having the last laugh and deservedly so.

    1. I’m not sure about the last laugh, but they will know. Even if we block something out, we’re unconsciously aware what we’ve done, even if we’re not consciously acknowledging our part

      But growing up in a family where there is a ‘special needs child’ all family members must play their part; the parent with their child and that child with her siblings. Being a member of any family gives us that, but the parents’ must hone it.

      In my own case, no one helped me emotionally, or took responsibility. But understanding my symptoms now, is finally helping me understand my experiences, both past and present.

      Understanding my experiences allows me to understand my life. That understanding has brought about a quiet confidence and peace in me that I didn’t have before.

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